Congratulation, you have a Muslim friend.
This is a mini-manual on how to interact with your Muslim friend.
First of all the don’ts. Do not talking about pork, alcohol, free mixing relationships and drugs on your first meeting with your friend. Avoid talking about terrorism and their families. It is okay to talk about these issues if they bring it up freely otherwise refrain from these types of conversations.
Remember Muslims eat halal food so don’t offer them food that is not halal. What is halal? Well you can do that research yourself by either googling it or asking your friend as they would be happy to explain it. This would be another excellent talking point with your friend as it would express a real and sincerely desire to get to know them better.
Muslims pray five times a day so if they disappear at certain times of the day than don’t be offended as they need to pray. Some Muslims don’t pray five times a day and you should as their friend encourage them to do so. Other Muslims may not even observe a halal diet and may very well follow your exact life style to the very letter. In that case you don’t need to read this article.
Muslims will never shake hands with the opposite sex as it is against their religion. They also will not make direct eye contact with the opposite sex as this is also against their religion. It is your job as their friend to make them feel comfortable about this. Whilst it maybe disrespectful in your culture not to make eye contact and shake hands; it is likewise a disgraceful act for a Muslim to engage in.
Your Muslim friend may wear the nikab or face covering in which case you will need to be extra respectful and protective of them as their are many ignorant people in the west. Especially some western women who have never had a Muslim friend like yours will express ignorant views such as your friend is oppressed. Indeed, you know full well that it not true.
The month of Ramadan is a month that you will see your Muslim friend being extra nice and caring. You will observe that they will not eat or drink anything from a little while before sun up until sun down. Be respectful and don’t offer them any food or drink no matter how thirsty or hungry they look within this period. You may be invited to break-fast with your friend in the evening. Remember you are allowed to feast like you haven’t eaten for a few hours.
In general most Muslims don’t like vial, and vain talk. So remember avoid swearing, vulgar talk and talk that is useless in nature. Talk about respectful and pure issues such as your day at work, up-coming holidays, recipes, sports, leisure activities and the like. Once you have befriended a Muslim then be prepared to have a loyal friend for life.
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